Are you fed up with political speeches? After three general elections in four years, the answer is probably, “yes!”
The challenge for politicians now is to grab our attention, yet again, and they can only do this with two things: good content, and good delivery.
In his book, When They Go Low, We Go High, Philip Collins – a former political speechwriter, for Tony Blair – writes: “Too little of what is said in politics is memorable. It needs to be.”
How can you persuade someone of your point of view if they can’t remember what you said?
We often assume that speeches made “off the cuff” are somehow more authentic. But in fact, the process of writing a speech down in detail actually helps you think carefully about what you want to say, and how. The best “off the cuff” political speeches are often very well rehearsed to look that way.
Good speakers spend time creating their content and then time practicing their delivery. First and foremost, pace and timing are everything and vocal variation is critical to maintain interest.
It is impossible to communicate passion, or urgency, without varying your tone and pitch. When you show you care you have taken the first step to persuade your audience to care too.
The second step for persuasive politicians is to master their gestures. No one likes to be on the other end of a pointing finger.
In short, politicians gain votes by keeping it lively, keeping it passionate and keeping it friendly. Persuasive speaking is punchy.